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First Read Flash: Washington on edge

Day four of the shutdown begins after a harrowing day on Capitol Hill after a woman tried to ram a car into a White House security barrier, was chased through D.C. and shot and killed by police.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

Day four of the shutdown begins after a harrowing day on Capitol Hill after a woman tried to ram a car into a White House security barrier, was chased through D.C. and shot and killed by police.

NBC News: “The federal government shutdown will enter its fourth day on Friday after Congress moved no further toward resolving its fiscal showdown and President Barack Obama ratcheted up pressure on Republicans. A flurry of legislative activity at the beginning of this week tempered by the end of Thursday, slowed further by an incident on Capitol Hill in which a woman attempted to breach security there and at the White House. The dramatic encounter forced a temporary lockdown of the Capitol complex, and halted House and Senate proceedings for about an hour.”

Washington Post: “A woman with a 1-year-old girl in her car was fatally shot by police near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, after a chase through the heart of Washington that brought a new jolt of fear to a city already rattled by the recent Navy Yard shooting and the federal shutdown.”

Roll Call: “When gunshots rang out Thursday, hundreds of Capitol Police officers sprang into action. Yet their paycheck for the work done on the traumatic day isn’t guaranteed, thanks to the government shutdown.”

New York Times’ Jonathan Martin: “The hard-line stance of Republican House members on the government shutdown is generating increasing anger among senior Republican officials, who say the small bloc of conservatives is undermining the party and helping President Obama just as the American people appeared to be losing confidence in him. From statehouses to Capitol Hill, frustration is building and spilling out during closed-door meetings as Republicans press leaders of the effort to block funding for the health care law to explain where their strategy is ultimately leading.”

Wall Street Journal: “The new focus comes as Congress is beginning to confront the need to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, which the Treasury said must be done this month in order to pay the nation’s obligations. With federal agencies largely shuttered for a third day, some GOP lawmakers were exploring whether the political stalemate over funding the government could best be resolved by crafting a broader fiscal package that would include an increase in the debt ceiling.”

Politico: “Boehner, Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have more than a century of congressional service between them, as well as a string of legendary political and legislative wins and losses. Yet there are times when the “Big Four,” as the party leaders are referred to on Capitol Hill, seem more like long-bickering members of a city council rather than the leaders of a great nation. Not only has the Reid-Boehner relationship sunk to a new low, but so have the once-collegial ties between Reid and McConnell.”

New York Times: “Even as President Obama insists that he would be powerless to save the economy from catastrophe should Congress fail to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, some law professors say he does have options. They may be politically unattractive, unpalatable to the financial markets and subject to legal challenges, these experts say, but these choices are better than failing to live up to the nation’s financial commitments.

Politico: “The government shutdown is leaving federal agencies closed, national parks roped off, hundreds of thousands of federal employees out of work and museums in the dark. But in some Senate offices, it’s like nothing has changed. At least nine senators haven’t furloughed any of their staff, keeping a full office in place as their colleagues operate at skeletal levels.”

New Orleans Times Picayune: “FEMA has recalled furloughed workers to respond to Tropical Storm Karen. At last report, the National Hurricane Center said the storm was about 430 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with sustained winds of 65 mph.”

NBC’s Michael O’Brien: “House Speaker John Boehner’s legacy is on the line as he struggles to find a way out of the first government shutdown in 17 years. There are enough votes in the House he leads to pass the spending bill approved by Senate, a move that would continue funding the government until mid-November. But to do so, the Ohio Republican right now would have to rely on a bare majority of his Republican colleagues as well as votes from Democratic members. And that could put Boehner’s grasp on the speakership in jeopardy if the unwieldy group of Tea Party conservatives he’s overseen for the past two and a half years finds their leader guilty of violating the party’s principles or making a misstep in the budget negotiations. A revolt among his members would be seen as sign of weakness and could result in his ouster.”

National Journal: “There is no shortage of intriguing story lines as the federal government wraps up its first week of shutdown. But the one with the potential to resonate on Capitol Hill long after this crisis abates is the sudden consonance within a House Republican Conference that has been sharply divided along ideological fault lines since claiming the majority in 2010. At this historic moment of deep partisan division on the Hill, House Republicans are more unified than they have been in recent memory. This solidarity bodes well for Boehner and his speakership, but it portends a protracted shutdown that is unlikely to end until Democrats somehow offer something acceptable to the conservative majority in the House GOP.”

Washington Post: ”Party veterans say they are increasingly concerned that a prolonged standoff in Washington could damage their prospects for winning back the Senate in 2014…And now that it is underway, the party is looking for ways to distance its Senate candidates from the ensuing mess.”

Roll Call: “House Majority PAC, a super PAC that aims to elect House Democrats, announced Thursday it will unleash a major advertising campaign against nine House Republicans over the shutdown. The total buy is for a ‘mid-six figure’ sum, according to the political action committee’s spokesman. It will run web and TV ads against Republican Reps. Mike Coffman of Colorado’s 6th District, Steve Southerland II of Florida’s 2nd, Joe Heck of Nevada’s 3rd and David Joyce of Ohio’s 14th.”

MISSOURI: St. Louis Beacon: “In the midst of the congressional battle that led to the federal government shutdown, Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has announced that he’s likely to challenge a fellow Republican — U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem — next year.” Kinder “didn’t mention Smith but instead referred to ‘out-of-touch Washington elites’ as he declared that he has signed the federal paperwork to set up an exploratory committee – a move that will allow the three-term lieutenant governor to raise campaign money.”

NEW JERSEY: Politico: “Cory Booker is all but certain to win the New Jersey special election for U.S. Senate. But as polls show Republican rival Steve Lonegan tightening the race, Booker is getting an uncomfortable reminder that he will have to campaign hard to defend the seat just a year from now, when he’d be up for a full term. Booker faces a tough test of the truncated race against Lonegan on Friday, when the Newark mayor and the former Bogota mayor face off in their first debate. For Lonegan, it’s a chance to test whether Booker has a glass jaw.”

TEXAS: Dallas Morning News: “Wendy Davis talked a lot Thursday about the issues she wants to emphasize in her race for governor: public education (she’s for it) and hyper-partisanship and political cronyism in Austin (she’s against it). But the one thing she didn’t talk about — the very thing that has made her suddenly a viable statewide candidate — was conspicuously absent. Davis’ claim to fame was an 11-hour filibuster in June against a bill about abortion and women’s health….Thursday’s kickoff announcement was not the place to discuss abortion or women’s health care. But because those issues will most certainly be a subtext of her opponent’s attacks against her, Davis is going to have to find a way to talk about them.”

NBC’s Jessica Taylor: “Observers, including Democrats, still say she faces a steep hill in the solidly red Lone Star State? It’s been nearly two decades since Texas last elected a Democratic governor, and it’s a state that votes reliably Republican where President Barack Obama lost by 16 points. The last gubernatorial race touted to Perry as another moderate Democrat, former Houston Mayor Bill White, lost handily in 2010 by 13 points. Those close to Davis acknowledge she begins as the underdog, but point out that’s never stopped her before. She had tough fights in her two state Senate races in a district even Republicans describe as GOP-leaning. She fought against a partisan gerrymander of her district in 2011, and won re-election after she was heavily targeted by the GOP in 2012.”

Daily Rundown: “The morning after Wendy Davis officially kicked off her campaign for Texas governor, EMILY’s List says they’ve already got her back. MSNBC has learned the pro-choice women’s group plans to endorse Davis on Friday morning, hoping to bolster her uphill bid. Their endorsement of the Texas state senator comes as no surprise–EMILY’s List has been a backer of her legislative races and heavily promoted her ever since she skyrocketed to national prominence after a day-long filibuster against a controversial anti-abortion bill in the Texas state Senate.”

VIRGINIA: AP’s Bob Lewis: “After days of equivocation, Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli on Thursday called on Congress to reopen the federal government, then fight over whether to starve the new health care law of funding. Cuccinelli told reporters after a Thursday-morning event that shuttering the government is not the right way for opponents of the 2010 Affordable Care Act to gain leverage to defeat the law he wants to see repealed.”

Richmond Times Dispatch: “This weekend’s Family Foundation of Virginia annual fundraising gala featuring U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is not a fundraiser or campaign event for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, both Cuccinelli and Family Foundation officials have insisted. But that doesn’t mean the attorney general, who will also be at the dinner with Cruz, isn’t beneftting, at least indirectly, from the event.”